The Jarring Link Between Foreclosure and Suicide

The foreclosure crisis upended many lives and caused a great deal of economic damage to the country. But new research claims that it also drove up the suicide rate — particularly among middle-aged foreclosure victims.

In the study, published in the June issue of the American Journal of Public Health, researchers looked at the connection between state foreclosure and suicide rates from 2005 to 2010 — a period that saw the national rate of home loans in foreclosure just about quintuple as the economic crisis shook the country.

They found that foreclosures do appear to be correlated with suicide, even controlling for other factors. And the effect is strongest among adults between 46 and 64 years old — foreclosures can explain 18 percent of the difference between the 2005 and 2010 suicide rates within this cohort, claim the researchers. (You can’t always trust intuition when it comes to these sorts of complicated questions, but it’s easy to come up with reasons why a 50-year-old facing foreclosure might be more profoundly affected by it than a 25-year-old, all things being equal.)

This paper is part of an ongoing attempt in the social-science world to fully untangle the effects of the foreclosure crisis. I reported on a study from 2012, for example, that found lower voting rates in neighborhoods hit hard by foreclosures — even among people who were not foreclosed upon themselves. There’s still a lot researchers don’t know, however. "We are at very early stages of understanding the full impacts of the foreclosure crisis on population well-being," sad Jason Houle, a sociologist at Dartmouth who co-authored the paper, in an email. We do know, however, that they lead to "declines in resources … and a rise in community stressors (such as crime, abandoned homes)."

Houle said his next step is to get a hold of county-level suicide data, which would allow him to examine the foreclosure/suicide connection in a more detailed, zoomed-in way way. Based on what we know about foreclosures so far, his results are unlikely to be cheerful.

Read more posts by Jesse Singal

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Geithner Confirms Mafia-Linked Berlusconi’s Forced Ouster, But Says US Did Not “Have Blood On Our Hands”

Silvio Berlusconi – ironically nicknamed “The Teflon Don” – has been found to have done business with the Sicilian Mafia for nearly two decades, according to Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation in Rome. Having attacked the “biased judges” who called his actions “a continuous crime,” Berlusconi wriggled out from under this result since the link to the Cosa Nostra was, as The Independent reports, via his conduit and former senator Marcello Dell’Utri who was sentenced to 7 years for mafia association. While this confirms as fact yet another conspiracy theory, the bigger story was the confirmation of a broad-based bloodless coup to ouster the Italian Prime Minister at the peak of the credit crisis. “At one point that fall, a few European officials approached us with a scheme to try to force Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi out of power,” Tim Geithner writes in his new book, and after telling the President about “this surprising invitation,” they decided not to get involved (publicly): “We can’t have his blood on our hands.” Continue reading

If Economic Cycle Theorists Are Correct, 2015 To 2020 Will Be Devastating For The US

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

Does the economy move in predictable waves, cycles or patterns?  There are many economists that believe that it does, and if their projections are correct, the rest of this decade is going to be pure hell for the United States.  Many mainstream economists want nothing to do with economic cycle theorists, but it should be noted that economic cycle theories have enabled some analysts to correctly predict the timing of recessions, stock market peaks and stock market crashes over the past couple of decades.  Of course none of the theories discussed below is perfect, but it is very interesting to note that all of them seem to indicate that the U.S. economy is about to enter a major downturn.  So will the period of 2015 to 2020 turn out to be pure hell for the United States?  We will just have to wait and see. Continue reading